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Classroom management refers to the whole aspect of the curriculum through environment, themes, lesson plans, daily routine, assessment, individualization and much more. All of the component listed above is crucial to ensure that the curriculum is well rounded.

Headstart defines Curriculum as a written plan that includes:

  • Goals for children’s development and learning
  • Experience through which they will achieve these goals
  • What staff and parents do to help children achieve these goals
  • Materials needed to support the implementation of the curriculum
  • Educational Goals

    two girls learningPlay, discovery, peer group interaction and exploration are key aspects of the curriculum, which provide learning experiences designed to develop the whole child. The classroom provides a learning environment for the children to learn through play, based on interest and curiosity.

    Social Development – feel comfortable, feel welcome, trust their environment, make friends and be part of a group.

    Emotional Development – self confident, develop independence, develop self control, and have a positive attitude toward life.

    Physical Development – increase large muscles, increase small muscles, and feel confident about what their body can do.

    Cognitive Development – to become a confident learner, and ability to solve problems.

  • Environment

    alphabet blocksEnvironment is important to a child's learning, Children use their environment as a means to satisfy their needs. Areas should be planned carefully and stocked with materials and supplies to encourage childrens curiosity to want to explore, manipulate, and create. Children will have the opportunity to enhance knowledge in all of the developments listed above and achieve goals in every area in your classroom if the correct materials and the presentation of the materials is present.

    The classroom setting should be divided into interest areas:

    • home
    • block
    • art
    • book & literacy
    • music
    • science
    • sensory
    • math & manipulative
    • computer

    A wide variety of learning materials should be offered and related to the curriculum goals to enhance the childrens learning. All materials should be on low open shelves and accessible to the children without having to ask for assistance from an adult.

    Similar materials are grouped together to teach the children to sort and classify. These skills are important to understanding and solving math problems. Photographs and word labels should be put on the containers and shelves to aid as the children begin to read symbols and print.

    Home area

    The home area allows the children to engage in pretend play that encourages role playing. Two things that a small child know is home and school. By providing this area it encourages the children to experiment with items and situations that are recognizable to them and gain knowledge of new ones. This area encourages knowledge of the community, imagination, working together, problem solving, compromising, and enhancement of verbal skills.

    Example of items needed:

    • stove, refrigerator, & sink
    • dishes
    • cookware
    • food
    • multicultural dolls
    • food
    • mirror
    • house cleaning set
    • dress up clothes
    • crib
    • small table & chairs
    • high chair

    Block area

    The block area aids in gaining knowledge of math concepts by working with blocks of different shapes and sizes. The children is giving the opportunity to build structures and take on roles of people and community helpers. This area encourages role playing, gaining knowledge of the world, self expression, problem solving, and creativity.

    Example of items needed:

    • unit blocks
    • foam blocks
    • large blocks
    • tools
    • shelves
    • traffic signs
    • people
    • farm animals
    • vehicles
    • area rug
    • pets
    • zoo animals
    • wild animals
    • dinosaurs

    Art area

    boy paintingThe art area invites the children to express their emotions through creativity. While the children are utilizing the different tools to create they are developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. By providing open-ended art for the children it allows them to self- express as they problem solve of what to create.

    Example of items needed:

    • paper
    • construction paper
    • finger paint paper
    • paint brushes
    • scissors
    • markers
    • collage materials
    • shelves
    • aprons
    • markers
    • pencils
    • paint
    • watercolors
    • glue
    • color pencils
    • tape
    • table & chairs
    • stamps
    • stamp pad
    • scissors
    • crayons
    • finger paint
    • play dough
    • play dough tools
    • easel

    Book/Literacy area

    teacher and boy reading a bookLiteracy is very important as a small child and as an adult. The book and literacy area can stand alone or be joined together. These two areas isn't the most favorite of the children so to encourage the children to take advantage of these areas is to provide a variety of fun learning materials, make it cozy and inviting. Also make sure you provide a diverse selection of books that the children can relate to. This area increases vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as aiding in reading and writing.

    Examples of items needed:

    • books
    • book shelf
    • puppets
    • alphabet cards
    • photo cards
    • chalk board
    • flannel board
    • small table & chairs
    • pillows
    • pencils
    • word cards
    • index cards
    • dry erase board
    • puppet stands
    • shelf
    • area rug
    • paper
    • magnetic letters
    • chalk
    • dry erase markers
    • large books

    Music area

    The music area allows the children to express themselves through music. Children are able to be physically active and help gain control of their bodies. By experimenting with different sounds and beats the children are able to create and enhance memory skills.

    Examples of items needed:

    • musical instruments
    • listening center
    • headphones
    • music shelf
    • scarves
    • cd’s
    • microphone
    • cd player
    • rain stick
    • area rug

    Science & Sensory

    The science and sensory areas can stand alone or together. The children are able to explore and experiment with the natural world. Vocabulary is enhance while engaging with the materials in these areas as they guess, predict and observe.

    Examples of items needed:

    • plants
    • insects
    • stethoscope
    • rocks
    • binoculars
    • mirrors
    • table & chairs
    • smocks
    • microscope
    • seashells
    • balance scale
    • sensory cups
    • test tubes
    • color wheel
    • shelf
    • magnets
    • magnifying glass
    • measuring cups
    • tactile cards
    • pine cones
    • listening tubes
    • sensory table

    Manipulative/Math area

    The manipulative and math area offers the children the opportunity to understand basic math concepts as well as the development of fine motor skills. As the children are engaged in the materials they are improving hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills, as they count, sort, and classify.

    Examples of items needed:

    • legos
    • waffle blocks
    • string beads
    • lace cards
    • counting frame
    • teaching clock
    • shelves
    • linking cubes
    • pegs & boards
    • notch'ems
    • counters
    • number cards
    • geometric shapes
    • area rug
    • puzzles
    • ring builders
    • gears
    • abacus
    • magnetic numbers
    • potato head
    • table & chairs

    Computer Area

  • Constructing of areas

    girl looking at a magnifying glassBasics for all areas

    Shelves – all shelves should be labeled with a photograph (picture) of the item that is to be stored in that place. Shelves should be used to define the areas and to not have visible running paths


    The home area table can be labeled by shadowing the item to remain on the table when the area isn’t in use. To do this trace around the plate, cup and utensils that are to remain on the table (as if your setting a table for a meal) then tape or use contact paper to secure the picture on the table.

    Shelves in the play refrigerator that are to store items such as: eggs, milk or juice can also be labeled by shadows or by a small picture taped on the shelf.

    Animals that are to be stored standing on top of the block shelf can have one picture and word that says zoo animals or can be labeled individually.

    Containers – all containers should be labeled with the same photograph (picture) of the item that is on the shelf, that is to be stored.

    Cubbies – all the children should have space to store individual items.


    Hooks to hang jackets
    Cubbies to store art, change of clothes, and blankets
    Cubbies should be reachable by the children without needing assistance
    Label the cubbies with the childs photo, name or symbol


    • To keep areas organize and uncluttered
    • Keeps the area neat when not in use
    • Easy for clean up
    • To keep the children learning - classification, matching, putting materials away appropriately, etc.
    • To provide a print enrichment environment and to let the children learn words have meaning

    Home Area

    • Rotate items according to the season, themes, and holidays.


      • Add Christmas pot holders in December
      • Add Fall centerpieces on the table during the Fall
    • Rotate dress up apparel according to the seasons.


      • Add mittens, scarves, hats and jackets during the winter
      • Add sunglasses, beach hats, swimsuits during the summer
    • The home area can be used as an interest area by adding items that are related to the theme.
    • Only allow four children to assess this area at one time, sometimes two or three children may be the maximum allowed depending on the size of the area.
    • The home area has a lot of equipment, so ideal will be to place it against a wall.

    Block Area

    • Rotate items according to the theme, seasons, and holidays.


      • Add construction vehicles and workers for during the community helpers theme
      • Add small Christmas props during the holidays
    • The block area should be in a corner with two walls, out of the way of traffic to protect childrens structures from being knocked over.
    • Only four children should assess this area at a time
    • The block area can be used as a interest area by adding items related to the theme.
    • Provide theme related books


      • Books about building – how to build, what you need, etc.
    • The block area is one of the loudest areas and should be placed next to the home area.
    • This area should be placed on a carpeted area or have a rug.

    Art Area

    palm paint

    • The art area should have all the basic art supplies.


      • Paper, crayons, glue, markers, scissors, paint, etc.
    • Each item should have their own individual space.
    • Labeling should be done by shadowing or using photographs.
    • Collage materials should be available for open ended art.


      • Pom pom balls, pipe cleaners, tissue tubes, scrap paper, fabric pieces, etc.
      • Rotate materials monthly
    • This area should be placed on a hard floor and the shelf should define the area.


      • The shelf should be located close enough to the table to assess the materials.
    • Place this area close to a sink for easy clean up.
    • Up to six children can have assess to this area.

    Book/Literacy area

    • The book area should have a face forward shelf to house the books


      • Books should be placed on the shelf face forward up and visual.
    • The area should be comfortable and cozy.


      • Large pillows, bean bags, etc.
    • Place the area on the opposite side of the classroom from the loud areas


      • Home, block, sensory and music area
    • The book area should be placed on a carpeted area.
    • Provide a variety of multicultural books , interest and previous experiences.
    • Rotate books according to theme, seasons and holidays.
    • A puppet stand and puppets can be added.
    • Only allow four children to assess this area at a time.

    Literacy Area

    • The literacy area should have a small table.
    • Two children should assess this area at a time.
    • Provide writing utensils, paper, index cards.
    • Provide dry erase boards, markers, rulers, index cards, magnetic letters, word cards, note pads, alphabet games, etc.

    Music Area

    • Provide a variety of multicultural musically instruments
    • Allow enough space to move to music
    • Provide a cd player and cd's
    • Rotate music according to theme and holidays
    • Add props


      • scarves, bean bags
    • Provide a small table and chairs with a listening center
    • Provide containers or baskets for storing items
    • Music area should be on a carpeted area
    • Allow up to six children to assess this area at a time
    • Place this area in the loud part of the classroom

    Science Area

    • Science area should be placed close to the sink
    • Allow three children to use this area at one time
    • Place a small table with chairs in the area
    • Provide a shelf and containers for storing items
    • All materials should be labeled
    • The science area should be on a hard floor
    • Provide a variety of experimental materials


      • Provide magnets and items to see if they magnetize – paper clips, nail, coins, etc.

    Sensory Area

    • Provide a variety of items


      • measuring cups, mixing containers, shovels, scoops, etc.
    • Provide a large container to store items when not in use
    • Add a small shelf to store items
    • Provide a container to store smocks
    • This area should be close to the sink
    • Place area on a hard floor
    • Add a sensory table
    • Allow four children to assess this area at one time

    Math and Manipulative Area

    • Provide a shelf and individual containers to store items
    • This area can be your largest carpet that can be used for circle time
    • Add a table for table play
    • Provide a large variety of materials for the children to use


      • Eight to ten different containers of materials
    • Provide a puzzle rack to store puzzles.
    • Remove items from boxes and store in a containers
    • Allow six children to assess this area at a time

    Computer Area

    • Provide a computer desk or small table
    • Have a variety of learning cd's
    • Make sure cd's are developmentally appropriate
    • Be sure to make the computer child friendly so they can work it by themselves
  • Wall Presentation of charts and wall hangings

    All wall hanging that are meant for the children should be on their level by hanging them low on the on the wall according to the childrens size.

    Wall hangings should be neat and presented as if you were hanging pictures in your home

    All wall hangings should have a picture because children learn to become familiar with words by using words or symbols

    By presenting wall hangings it allows another learning opportunity and provides a print enrichment environment

    All posters and wall hangings should be kid friendly by allowing the children to read it by using pictures or photographs

    Example/purpose of a list of items that should be present in a preschool classroom

    Presentation of wall hangings can be interactive or not. Wall presentations should always look neat. If you choose to make them interactive, you must be sure to secure them tightly to the wall. My opinion is to have replicas in the literacy, math and manipulative area for the children to interact with.

    • Numbers – counting, sequence, word & number recognition
    • Colors – color & word recognition
    • Shapes – shape & word recognition
    • Word Wall – sequence, letter, word , & name recognition
    • Months of the year – sequence, & word recognition
    • Days of the week – sequence, & word recognition
    • Hand washing Chart – proper hand washing, sequence of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on
    • Classroom Rules – following rules, visual reminder
    • Parent Board – information for employees & parents
    • Daily Routine – Information for employees & parents
    • Childrens Photo Daily Routine – understanding time and following a routine
    • Area Signs – area and word recognition
  • Lesson Plans
    • Aids teachers in planning objectives
    • Presents a balance of activities to keep the children engaged
    • Visually ensures activities promote growth of each child
    • Parents resource to what’s happening in the classroom
    • Framework for substitutes

    The lesson plan formats all the activities that can be implemented throughout the week. The lesson plan is divided into 6 sections:

    • Circle Time – occurs at the beginning of the day and in a large group setting.
      • Good morning song
      • Discuss daily lessons
      • Introduction of new materials in the classroom
      • Discuss classroom rules
      • Choose classroom helpers
      • Music, songs, and fingerplays
      • Classroom discussion about theme
      • Counting friends, etc.
    • Work Time – children work in the interest areas individually or in small groups
      • Provide materials for the children to make choices
      • Provide an environment and materials that are accessible to the children
      • Provide open ended materials to encourage language development
      • Provide age appropriate materials
      • Have a balance of activities & materials that each child can be successful when working with it
      • Provide materials that encourage problem solving
    • Small Group Time –
      • Focuses on skills and goals for the children to learn
      • Provide a balance of learning activities – literacy, nutritional, art, math, science, etc.
      • Children can be grouped according to development level on some of the activities
    • Outdoor Time – outdoor environment should be a connection to the classroom
      • Provide materials for the children to develop large and small muscles
      • Provide learning experience that encourage exploring of our world
    • Transitions – helps children move from one activity to another
      • Plan activities that are fun and the children learn
      • Activities can be music, chants, marching, etc.
    • Expansion – allows you to expand on the theme and lessons by providing other activities and materials you would like to add to your weekly theme.
    • Theme Related - all materials are designed by myself. One of the following comes with a theme pack.
      • Bingo game, memory match, pattern cards, word cards or flash cards will be provided with each theme
      • Template for activities
      • Instructional Manual
      • List of items need
      • Lesson Plan
      • Theme with letter, number, color, shape, days of week & month

    Lesson plans define activities to incorporate into interest area for the week. Literacy, art, math, titles of books, transition act, outdoor act, large group, small group, circle time & interest area.

  • Class Pack Displays
    • Alphabets
    • Numbers
    • Colors
    • Shapes
    • Days of the Week
    • Months of the Year
    • Classroom rules and more
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